Elizabeth’s Kitchen Food Blog #1 March 4, 2011
Dehydration, Frustration and that constant hungry sensation.
People think that because I am a chef that everything that goes on my table or in my families’ mouth is healthy. Sadly, this is not the case. It is a common conundrum. The roofer’s roof leaks, the painters house is peeling and the gardener’s grass needs mowed. I do try to make good snacking choices, but find the one thing I am always remiss on is not drinking enough water. Funny thing, water. It is quite important in helping us, think straight, reduce in water retention, and reducing acidity in our blood caused by eating red meats, wine, alcohol, coffee and sugar, to name a few. Cancer loves an acidic environment. Believe it or not, lemons are not acidic. Once you ingest them they turn alkali.
The water in your coffee, or soft drink, including sports drinks doesn’t count either. Oh, they contain water, but they also contain too many other triggers that cause your immune system to kick in and make you swell up. Your body does not recognize processed sugar as a food, but that’s an entirely different blog. If you have a constant hungry sensation it is probably because you are dehydrated.
Some benefits of drinking your daily allotted amount of water? Beautiful skin, better digestion and clearer thinking. I love drinking coffee and sometimes a glass of wine. However, I try to drink a glass of water before my coffee or wine. It eases my guilt, as it were.
One final word on water before I share some good snacking tips. Try to avoid using those plastic disposable water bottles. They do impart toxins into the water especially if you freeze the bottles, plus, they are horrible for the environment. Two, if you use the metal drinking bottles, try to find stainless steel. Stay away from aluminum. Three, try to always drink filtered water. You can purchase an inexpensive filtering pitcher if you don’t have a filter installed at your sink or refrigerator.
O.k., even if you are drinking your water we do sometimes get hungry in the middle of the afternoon. How do we grab for a healthier snack? We need to make it ahead. Yep, its going to take some planning. How about a nice hummus spread? It contains protein, and minerals from the herbs added to flavor your hummus and its fairly simple to do if you have a blender or food processor. The latter being the better of the two machines.
Once you have made your hummus spread it upon cucumber or celery slices. Again, you will need to slice these ahead and store them in an air-tight container in your refrigerator. While you’re at it, peel some carrots and quarter them. Make that air-tight container a large one and fill it to the top. Then pull it out and start munching those when you’re hungry. Celery, carrots, and sugar snap peas when in season.
Keys to help curb your cravings; Try to avoid sugars, because, sugar begets craving, begets eating more sugar it’s a vicious cycle. If you snack, perhaps have a piece of cheese. Try to avoid processed chips, and breads. If you’re gonna have the cheese on bread make it a whole grain. Drink a glass of water before you eat it and use only one slice of bread. Then get back to what you were doing. Working or playing. Don’t spend your life thinking about what you’re gonna eat next.
Final Word. Anytime you make a meal at home starting with whole ingredients, instead of processed, like mac and cheese or instant potatoes, or rice with a season packet, which contains msg., you are taking a step in the direction of healthier eating which will reduce you’re constant feeling of hunger. Now, go have a glass of water.
-Chef Elizabeth Podsiadlo a.k.a. The Opera Singing Chef www.THEOPERASINGINGCHEF.com ©2011
1/4 cup parsley leaves 2 tlbs. chopped onion
1 garlic clove 1/4 cup orange juice
2 tlbs tahini (sesame seed paste) 2 tlbs rice vinegar
2 tsp low-sodium soy sauce 1 tsp
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground coriander 1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp ground cumin 1/4 tsp paprika
1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans,) drained
Drop parsley, onion and garlic through food chute with food processor on, and process until minced. Add remaining ingredients, and process until smooth. Serve with pita triangles. Yield: 1 3/4 cups (serving size: 1 tablespoon).
NOTE: I always double the recipe because it works better in my blender.
Serve atop cucumber slices, on celery, or on pieces of sweet red pepper.